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Saturday, 11 August 2012

A Driving History 14: The 89 Honda Prelude

That's my car.  All the right lines in all the right places.  Add a sports exhaust and sub for a doof and that's my car.

She generates 100kw (144hp) from a 2.0 litre fourpot, 0-100kph (0-60mph) in about 9 secs on a 5 speed manual.  The car is surprising comfortable for me to drive, now that I'm used to the stick, I don't like driving automatics anymore.  There was a time in my life when I believed I could achieve as much or more control of a car in an automatic.  I know now this to be complete and utter bullshit. Just quietly, manufacturers, don't ditch the stick.  Somehow it makes driving real.  She has 381000 kms on the clock, and still runs strong.  Given her 23 years of age, the coupe has a few small problems- but nothing that has thus far interfered with its drivability- except for a fuel pump that shit itself and died.

There are 2 very particular things about this car.  Back in 87, when the gen 3 prelude was introduced to the market, it accomplished something amazing.  In the slalom, it defeated all comers, including supercars.

It also something that no other car has: fully mechanical 4 wheel steering.  Other front wheel drives have 4 wheel steering, but only this generation prelude has fully mechanical 4 wheel steering.

Recently, this car made the top 25 Japanese collectible cars list.

Why do I say that?  So I can claim I drive a collectible car.  As war marked as she surely is.

So when I roar up in town, I do feel a little like Peter Falk's Columbo- The car is a beat up, and I'm in fashionably rumpled pants (too damn hot for a rumpled raincoat).

I love this car, in case that's somehow not clear.

Even for a car of this age, it handles beautifully.  I take this regularly on the Gillies highway.  This pass in 20km long and loaded with hairpins, blind corners and other challenges.  There's also three distinct passing sections.

Put this car on the downhill and its truly superb.  The uphill, however, does demonstrate its lack of power.

I bought this car down Brisbane way.  I flew down with The Wife, got picked up at the airport by the sellers mom, driven to the car, test drove it (took The Wife's word for it being a good car) and promptly bought it on the spot.  Drove it all the way back.  The Wife had to do most of the driving though.  I wasn't confident or even competent with a stick.

But we enjoyed the car.  And the Drive.  After the fire, I had moved into a rental in town and parked it on the street.. Some cocksucker came along and kicked the rear fender of my car by the gas tank access,  put a big ass dent in it, cracked the paint, the whole nine yards.

I called the cops, made them come out and attend the scene.  They basically told me there was nothing they could do.  Whatever.

If I should ever learn who, I'll willingly put one more dent in my car.  I have yet, after all, to get the body work done.  Today, she needs some significant exterior cosmetic work done.  There's also niggling electric issues for the accessories.

But I turn the key.  She starts up.  And she's fun as hell to drive.  This is my favourite car on my list to date.

But I do recognise that I will have to replace it.  When the lawsuit settles, I'm giving myself up to $15000 to buy.  Even though this is years away, I'm already looking.

You know my driving history.  What do you think I might buy?  Should someone actually pick the one of three cars I'm seriously considering, I'll send you keys to my car.  I'll get it cut and mail it to you.  Just to be clear.  You don't win the car.  You win a key.  To guess, leave a comment.

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